A truck with precious cargo is incapacitated after it collides with another vehicle carrying masked robbers. The robbers use teargas and knives to immobilize the drivers before making off with a shipment worth nearly 400,000 Euros.
The robbery might sound like a scene from a Tony Scott movie or a mission in the yet-to-be-released Grand Theft Auto 5 but, sadly, the aforementioned robbery was just one of two events that occurred over the weekend in France - where hardcore heisters made off with around 780,000 euros worth of... Modern Warfare 3 copies.
For specific details on the heists, check out the full reports from local outlets below (with minor tweaks to the wording - in the interest of readability).
According to French news outlet, TFI (courtesy of Google Translation):
"Around 7:30 am, two employees delivering video games in a van were hit by another car, the source said. After leaving their vehicle to assess the damage, these two men, employed at a service provider working for a company selling video games, were tear-gassed by two individuals who occupied the car and whose faces were concealed, said the source close to the investigation. The criminals then hopped into the van and fled."
According to Le Perisien, another incident occurred only 30 minutes earlier:
"At about 8:30, it took only a few minutes to criminals determined to seize a semi-truck carrying the cargo truck of the same game before arriving at Micromania Buchelay (Yvelines), the driver sees a powerful car block his path. He has little time to react. Three masked individuals step out. Pointing a handgun, they order him to leave his vehicle. One of the thugs flees driving the truck and the other car drives off with a bang, leaving the driver on the side of the road."
Both trucks had left Bonneuil based Xfire distribution centers and were en route to various retailers. Sadly, the Modern Warfare 3 heist yet isn't even the most profitable (or dramatic) robbery in the area. Le Perisien also reports that back in 2007, a group of thieves armed with AK-47's stormed the distribution warehouse, incapacitating three guards and taking eight people hostage - before making off with nearly 1 million euros worth of video games and consoles.
Video game systems have always been an expensive luxury item but as the medium continues to shift from a niche industry to a dominant form of entertainment around the world, suppliers are handling more and more goods - and robbers can pass stolen items off to a larger pool of potential customers. It's certainly discouraging to hear that video game supply trucks are actually worthwhile targets for criminals but let's just hope that distributors learn from these incidents in order to, at the very least, protect their drivers from similar assaults in the future.
Activision's Modern Warfare 3 releases this week (though countless stolen and pirated copies are already in the wild) and is poised to once again shatter sales records and dominate playtime this holiday season (even in certain celebrity circles).
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Modern Warfare 3 releases November 8, 2011 for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.